New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): In a thrilling development for hockey enthusiasts, the inaugural edition of the Hockey India Sub Junior Men and Sub Junior Women Zonal Championships is set to kick off with the East Zone leg, scheduled from September 24 to September 30 in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
According to Hockey India, this exciting tournament will see participation from six formidable teams in both the men's and women's categories - Hockey Association of Odisha, Hockey Jharkhand, Hockey Bengal, Hockey Bihar, Manipur Hockey, and Assam Hockey.
This championship marks a significant milestone in Hockey India's grassroots development program, aiming to foster emerging talent across the nation. Following the resounding success of the first season of the Junior Men and Junior Women Zonal Championships held earlier this year in March, anticipation is high for this new chapter in Indian sub-junior hockey.
Notably, the Sub Junior Men and Sub Junior Women Zonal Championships will unfold in a league format, promising action-packed encounters. Teams will earn three points for a win, while a draw will reward each team with one point. In the event of a tie at the end of regulation time, shoot-out will decide the victor, adding an extra layer of excitement to the classification matches.
The path to the Final is an arduous one. The top two teams after the completion of the group stage in both the sub-junior men's and sub-junior women's categories will secure coveted berths in the championship showdown. Meanwhile, the teams that finish third and fourth in the pool stages will battle it out for the 3rd/4th place honour, ensuring fierce competition from start to finish.
Also, following the action-packed encounters in the East Zone, the Hockey India Sub Junior Men and Sub Junior Women Zonal Championships will continue their journey across the country. The North Zone leg is up next, scheduled from 1st to 8th October, followed by the West Zone (9th to 16th October) and South Zone (17th to 24th October) legs, promising a thrilling nationwide odyssey for hockey fans.
As the nation eagerly awaits this tournament, it's clear that the Hockey India Sub Junior Men and Sub Junior Women Zonal Championships are poised to unearth the next generation of hockey stars and contribute significantly to the sport's growth in India.
Speaking on the same, Hockey India President Dilip Kumar Tirkey said,"We're thrilled to kick off the inaugural edition of the Hockey India Sub Junior Men and Sub Junior Women Zonal Championships in Ranchi, Jharkhand, a state with a rich hockey tradition. This tournament signifies our commitment to nurturing grassroots talent." "Just as the first season of the Junior Championships made a significant impact, we believe these Sub Junior Championships will be a stepping stone for our young players on their journey to representing the national team," he added. Secretary General Bhola Nath Singh echoed the President's remarks, saying that,"The Sub Junior Championships will provide these young talents with invaluable exposure and experience. It's a vital component of their development. Also, beyond the competition, these championships represent the spirit of unity and sportsmanship as teams from across zones come together to showcase their passion for the sport. It's a celebration of hockey in its purest form." (ANI)